Just Say ‘No’ to Booker’s Baby Bonds Idea

Elections
Sen. Cory Booker speaks during the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Fla., June 26, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The Democratic candidates are campaigning like mad to promise the most free stuff to voters. Senator Cory Booker has unveiled his baby bonds plan to give federal money to every newborn child to begin a fund that can later be used for college expenses.

In today’s Martin Center article, Ross Marchand of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance looks at the proposal and finds it to be a bad one.

Booker’s aim is mainly redistributive. The federal money would flow into these accounts based on family income. The trouble, Marchard writes, is that an infusion of cash from taxpayers won’t close this gap or improve the situation of America’s genuinely struggling working poor. What it will have, however, is potentially disastrous unintended consequences on the economy and increase our already absurdly high tuition prices.

He’s right. Booker’s plan is just as fraught with unintended consequences as was the original bad idea here, namely federal college subsidies in the first place.

The change we need is not more federal money, but to stop it. Marchand again:

Once the federal government closes the spigot of taxpayer funds driving higher costs and fees up and allows established and startup colleges to serve students, costs can finally be held in check and millions of Americans can attain the quality education they deserve.

Sadly, no Democrat can ever suggest downsizing the role of the federal government, no matter how much sense that would make.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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